GATE Herts work with residents on local authority sites to try to obtain the services and rights they are entitled to, supporting them to have a voice on the issues affecting them collectively.
It runs several services in response to the growing accommodation needs which is badly affecting Gypsies and Travellers because of the lack of plots on sites and stopping places around the country.
We will liaise with Hertfordshire Gypsy Section, and other relevant agencies to support people to continue their tenancies and manage their affairs.
Our Accommodation and Advocacy Service provides information to Gypsy and Traveller families living in houses, on official sites and unauthorised encampments.
- We develop good individual contacts within agencies.
- We assess which agencies will give an appropriate and supportive response to Gypsies and Travellers.
- We offer in-service training and advice.
- We support Gypsies and Travellers to make complaints where practice is very poor.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) publishes official statistics on the number of Traveller caravans on both authorised and unauthorised sites in England.
Local authorities carry out the count of caravans on Traveller sites twice a year, in January and July, providing a snapshot of the number of caravans on the day of the count.
At the time of the January 2019 count, the total number of Traveller caravans in England was 22,662. This is a 27% increase compared with January 2009, but a 1% decrease on a year previously.
Authorised and unauthorised site
In January 2019, 29% of Traveller caravans were on public sites; 59% were on privately funded sites; 9% were in unauthorised developments on land owned by Travellers; and 3% were in unauthorised encampments on land not owned by Travellers. Caravans on authorised private sites have formed a growing proportion of the total number of caravans.
Negotiated stopping is a balanced approach to managing unauthorised encampments based on a mutual agreement between the local authority and Gypsy and Traveller families on matters such as correct waste disposal and basic temporary facilities. Following a pilot implemented in Leeds, the approach was found to save the local authority and police up to £230,000 annually as well as promote community cohesion.